The Curious Case of Battlefield 5

As many of you know (it’s okay if you don’t know), Battlefield 5 is airdropping world wide this October. It’s been 2 years since the last Battlefield game came out so it seems like we’ve waited long enough for Dice to come out with something new. With the last entry covering World War 1, Battlefield 5 will see a movement to World War 2 while series competitor Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will return to a semi futuristic setting, following Call of Duty: World War 2‘s return to boots on the ground.

Sounds like a good time to close the “gap” between the series and possibly overthrow Call of Duty as shooter of the year right?..

Wrong.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but the overall hype factor feels low for this year’s entry. Battlefield usually is blowing up your speakers with that loud music and frying your eyes with gorgeous explosions and infantry fights. Have I missed those trailers? What’s going on with BF5? I’ve been doing my research, and let’s discuss what I feel like is wrong this year.

Marketing Non-Push

I know I just made up a fake word, but I’m okay with it. Back on topic, pre-orders have been low, and that’s not a good thing at all. While no exact numbers are available just look at what this year’s entry is sandwiched between..

image1
October is going to be a fire storm.

VG 24/7 released an article about BF5’s pre-order issues, and they made a really good point. Besides the reveal in May, you’d be hard pressed to find any other information about the game that isn’t coming from gameplay footage from streamers/YouTubers. Clearly, I wasn’t going to be receiving an invite, but I didn’t even know there was a Closed Alpha let alone two of them. I’m trying to find images to insert in this post, and I can barely find one.

A new trailer dropped on August 16th hinting at the Battle Royale mode (more on that later), but other than that, we haven’t seen a lot of the game. The Closed Alpha has only contained one map, the Arctic Fjord map, which is quite killing a lot fans hype for said map. For all we know, there’s only one map in the game.

This lack of marketing has really hurt the game. Look at the tragedy that was Titanfall 2; lost to most in between Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare/Modern Warfare Remastered and Battlefield 1. YouTuber Jackfrags has a great video on Battlefield 3 and why it had some of the best marketing. Where are those practices here?

Remember: we’re less than two months away from release.

Gameplay Features

Battlefield has strong gameplay features which creates a totally different feel from other first person shooters. Class based gameplay is it’s strongest feature, allowing players to fill roles as medics (crappy or good), engineers, snipers etc. Things seem to be changing this time around, and I don’t know if it’s for the better. These are a few of the things I’ve noticed while Internet surfing (all of this comes from GamesRadar from the first Closed Alpha so it’s subject to change, but most likely will be in the final form of the game)

  • There’s a new ‘scarcity’ element, which means that you’ll spawn with less ammo and explosives than in previous games.
  • Revives can now be done by any class, although they take far longer than Medic revives and only restore a limited amount of health.
  • You no longer regenerate to full health – only a Medkit dropped by a Medic can fully heal you.
  • Spotting has changed too – you now highlight areas of danger, rather than pinpointing specific enemies.
  • There’s a new construction option in the game (yes, like Fortnite), which allows you to fortify structures, and create new things. Support class soldiers can build faster, and create more things – you can now build fixed LMGs, for example – but every soldier is capable of building.
  • You can destroy buildings from the inside out, and flying debris will now kill enemy soldiers. Bullets will penetrate walls too, so you can shred houses and kill enemy troops inside.
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Where are we dropping?

A lot of these changes are interesting to say the least. Dice seems to be going towards a survival based approach with changes like the less amount of ammo you spawn with, everybody being able to revive downed comrades, and the fact there isn’t full health regeneration. Basically, if I’m understanding some of these changes right, why should players be punished by others who don’t perform their roles correctly, such as support not providing ammo, medics not dropping med kits?

Dice is monitoring feedback and adjusting based off of the Closed Alpha, but come next month when/if the beta drops, there’s probably going to be a small window to address any major issues the casual players may have.

Historical Accuracy and What We Want

It’s that time of the day folks where we throw all logic aside and judge based off of what we see.

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There’s a female in “my” WW2 shooter.

Listen to me when I tell you this; I could give a rat’s behind who’s in a first person shooter. If any game relied on historical accuracy, it wouldn’t sell. That being said people still get triggered over the fact that women are being added. Call of Duty: World War 2 did it last year, and while it did get flak, the game still sold well. When it comes to this, people should be more focused on the quality of the product rather than who’s in it.

The second part of this section is important. Two years ago, Dice released Battlefield 1 which focused on WW1. This year we’ll be getting Battlefield 5, which is focusing on the WW2 setting, following in the footsteps of Call of Duty: World War 2. It’s almost like Dice is doing everything C.O.D is doing. Fans have been begging for Bad Company 3 or even a return to the modern setting. Are they building towards a return to a modern day shooter? Not to mention, if you aren’t well versed in Battlefield seeing BF1 and then BF5 can be confusing (listen these are real issues I foresee people having).

There’s also EA’s iron cold statement. After the release, EA’s chief design officer Patrick Soderlund took to the web to defend BF5; “either accept it or don’t buy the game”. Not exactly, what you want to hear from a game that’s looking pretty shaky right now.

Battle-Frickin-Royale

Seeing the success of Fortnite and PUBG made Battlefield and Call of Duty hop on the bandwagon. This year’s entry of both titles will feature a Battle Royale mode, with both of them being very tight lipped about what players will see. However, the new trailer I mentioned earlier gave us 20 seconds of footage hinting at BF5 Battle Royale (starts at 1:38).

It’s almost been one year since Fortnite Battle Royale exploded on the scene and took the steam from PUBG, and the majority of the world is already sick of the category. I would even say zombie games didn’t die out as quick as BR games did. Unfortunately, seeing how much money Fortnite has made from said game mode (off of fricking cosmetics!!), BR games may just keep getting pumped out.

I honestly think Battlefield could give us a really good experience with this mode. I guess I see it has potential to be a better version of PUBG. It’ll be interesting to see how Dice executes it.

Finale

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been sitting at my workspace watching Battlefield 5 Closed Alpha gameplay and reading YouTube comments. “Can’t wait to buy another game“. “Historical accuracy“. The list goes on.

I’m still getting the game, no doubt. I’ve been playing a crap ton of Battlefield 1 and wishing I had better weaponry since the time period was pretty limited. I just can’t help but point out the elephant in the room, or in this case multiple elephants. What is EA/Dice doing? Do they think the game will self itself?

What do you think about Battlefield 5? Are any of the reasons I’ve listed above detractors you identify with or is it something totally different? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter, and you can also catch me on Twitch possibly streaming Battlefield 1 or Battlefield 5 (obviously when the game comes out).


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